|Heavyweight (Per 1/20)|
|6.||Mirko Cro Cop
|Light HW (per 1/20)|
|Middleweight (per 1/20)|
|Welterweight (per 1/20)|
|4.||Marc de Bonte|
|70kg (Per 1/20)|
|2.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 1/20)|
Here's a show announcement that kind of snuck up out of nowhere - this weekend in Madrid, Spain will be a regional K-1 MAX show. The show is being put on by K-1 MAX Madrid, and will feature a traditional 8 man tournament. These kind of regional events are not out of the ordinary for K-1, who brand many smaller, local shows as K-1 shows. While these shows are affiliated with K-1, they are typically not a part of the official K-1 season - meaning don't expect mention of this event on the K-1 website, or for the tournament winner to automatically enter the GP Final 16.
The biggest name in the tournament is definitely Warren Stevelmans. A K-1 MAX veteran who won the MAX 2008 Netherlands tournament, Stevelmans has been in there with the division's very best, including Andy Souwer, Giorgio Petrosyan, and Albert Kraus among many others. He fights often, and almost always against tough competition, so his record only stands at 4-5 in the last 2 years, but those loses all come against tough opposition. I would consider him the favorite in this field.
Stevelmans's toughest challenger here is likely Rachid Belaini, who comes in off a huge win over the top 25 ranked Khem Sitsonpeenong at It's Showtime in September. If Belaini can keep that momentum going, he can definitely win this event and use that victory as the start of a big 2011.
Also in the tournament are WBC champion Alex Asumu; Hassan Ait Bassou, a good fighter making the move up to 70kg from his normal 63kg weight; Jonay Risco; Manzy Pauwels, a Muay Thai fighter who won a similar regional tournament in 2009; Rafa Del Toro; and Rafi Zohueir, a Muay Thai fighter who was slated to represent Spain on the ill-fated The Contender Asia Season 2.Add a comment
The Dutch kickboxing organization, IT'S SHOWTIME, has officialy stripped Tyrone Spong of his 95KG MAX title. In a press release, they listed his failure to defend the title in the two years allowed by the promotion as the main reason. Also, Spong's management has made it known that Tyrone will not be fighting at the 95KG weight in the future.
To me, this shows that Tyrone has set his sights firmly on K-1 and the heavyweight division. With Spong going 2-2 in his last four K-1 fights, some may question this choice. I believe that training with Ernesto Hoost and the considerable experience he has for his age, will lead him to success in 2011.Add a comment
I was debating discussing this story at all. I mean, yes it does involve K-1 Grand Prix champion Alistair Overeem, but there are so many places where the Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament is getting coverage that it seemed maybe unnecessary. Then this morning, Strikeforce added an extra fight to the tournament that really piqued my interest.
In an upcoming fight, Valentijn Overeem will face one of K-1’s favorite sons, Sugar Ray Sefo. The fight is not 100% confirmed yet, and it is unclear if it will be on the Feb. 12 card or a future date, or a prelim or main card fight.
Now, here’s the interesting thing from our end about this tournament. You have 8 names in the main draw, plus 4 more Heavyweights currently set to compete in fights on these shows. Of those 12, 3 are current, active K-1 fighters (Overeem, Sefo, Sergei Kharitonov) and one more (Andrei Arlovski) was very nearly in the 2010 Grand Prix. This tournament is a major event – the most prominent US tournament in MMA since Don Frye won the UFC Ultimate Ultimate way back in 1996. For the tournament to feature a significant K-1 presence is definitely a point worth discussing.
Much has been made of the Strikeforce/Dream partnership that has resulted in fights like Shinya Aoki v. Gilbert Melendez and Tatsuya Kawajiri v. Josh Thomson. But one aspect that has been largely overlooked previously is that Dream and K-1 are both part of FEG, so as Strikeforce works with Dream, they open the door to working with K-1. We are seeing that door crack open here in the tournament. Now, obviously the fighters we are seeing her are not K-1 exclusive fighters, and all have experience in MMA; most fans still view Overeem and Kharitonov as primarily MMA fighters trying their hand at K-1, while Sefo has been working on his fledgling MMA career for the past 2 years. But they are all fighters whose recent careers have been more marked by K-1 action than MMA, and who hold interest for K-1 fans.
Last year, there were vague rumblings of Strikeforce considering running some kickboxing fights in the US – remember that Strikeforce started in the kickboxing heavy California scene – but these plans never came to fruition. Since then, we have heard rumors of It’s Showtime making their US debut in 2011, though again, nothing is confirmed. With this tournament including some big players in the kickboxing scene (and right now, no one is bigger than Alistair Overeem), there definitely is potential to generate some stateside interest in kickboxing.
Will this tournament lead to Overeem v. Badr Hari here in America? No, but depending on how they promote Overeem, Kharitonov, and Sefo, it could lead to a significant number of MMA fans hearing an awful lot about K-1 and kickboxing throughout the course of the tournament. Much will be told by how the videos and commentary position these three fighters. If they focus on MMA, there will be little benefit for kickboxing. But if they talk up Overeem as the GP champ, Sefo as a K-1 legend, and Kharitonov as pursuing a kickboxing career, it will give kickboxing valuable exposure to the large US MMA audience. And as K-1 struggles at home, increased international exposure can only be a good thing.
Alistair Overeem faces Fabricio Werdum in the quarter-final round at a date yet to be determined. The winner moves on to the semi-finals to face either Fedor Emelianenko or Antonio Silva, who meet on February 12.
Sergei Kharitonov v. Andrei Arlovski is also set for February 12 with the winner meeting Josh Barnett or Brett Rogers in the other semi-final.
Ray Sefo v. Valentijn Overeem may be on Feb. 12, or may be at a later date. The other announced fight is a reserve fight on the Feb. 12 card between Shane Del Roasrio and Lavar Johnson.
No dates are yet set for the 2nd half of the quarter-finals, semi-finals, or finals.Add a comment
We have just emerged from the holiday season, and were greeted by MiddleEasy.com turning into a Voltron-like entity that is the MiddleEasy Network. We all probably had to deal with some sort of crazed family members or crazed friends and family of our loved ones at some point, so what better way to alleviate that stress than to be wished a happy new year from a fighter whose knee could rip your head off. Check out K-1's photo album. While we are at it, the team at LiverKick.com would like to wish you a Happy New Year as well. I mean, if Overeem, Sakuraba, Aoki and the gang can, why can't we?Add a comment
Age. It's the unbeatable enemy of every athlete. Time cannot be stopped and one day, every athlete will succomb to it. The body gets to a point where it won't perform like it once did and even though the mind is willing, championships aren't won on mental strength alone.
K-1 fighters are no different and are probably more susceptible because of the physical toll that professional kickboxers must endure to reach the top and stay there for any amount of time. A fact that makes what Peter Aerts accomplished on December, 11th at the WGP Finals, all that more impressive. The Dutch Lumberjack, along with many of the top stars in K-1, are getting older. The aforementioned Aerts is 40. Jerome Le Banner is 38. Remy Bonjasky is 34 and on the brink of retirement due to an eye injury. Semmy Schilt is 37. I could go on but you see what I'm getting at - K-1 is growing old and in need of young stars to step up and fill the holes that will be left by all those giants of the sport when age has finally caught up with them. Who will that be? Let's look at some.
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A 67 kg, 147 lb, tournament sponsored by Isuzu Motors is currently underway in Thailand. According to Rob Cox, based in Bangkok, the winner receives one million baht and an Isuzu pickup truck, as well as the opportunity to represent Thailand in the next Thai Fight Tournament. The Isuzu Tournament proceeds in a "Groups" format where fighters in Group A and B will have multiple fights within their respective groups before proceeding to the semi-finals.
Group A consists of: Kem Sitsongpeenong; Sudsakorn 13 Coins; Nopparat Keatkhamtorn; Kongjak Sor Tuanthong.
Group B is: Prakaisaeng Sit-Or; Thepsutin Pumpanmuang; Dernchonlek Sor Sor Niyom; Thanongdet Petpayatai.
These fighters are all highly regarded in Thailand and fight anywhere from 147 to 160 lb. Fights are spaced out with one fight per week.
Results thus far:
Dernchonlek def. Prakaisaeng, Points
Thanongdet def. Thepsutin, Points
Sudsakorn def. Kongjak, Points
Kem def. Nopparat, KO Rd 3
Dernchonlek def. Thanongdet, Points
Nopparat vs Kongjak on January 22nd
Of these, Sudsakorn vs Kem is easily the most anticipated. Kem is favored to win the whole tournament and both he and Sudsakorn have put on very strong showings internationally. The last time they fought, it was a vicious, technical bout ending in a third round knockout of Sudsakorn by Kem. Kem will give up two pounds to Sudsakorn in this next bout because of Kem's higher seeding. Though 1 million baht and and an Isuzu is a substantial reward, the spot in the next Thai Fight may be just as important. Thai Fight was introduced in 2010 and is quite prestigious in terms of prize money and recognition. It is rare to see a full Muay Thai rules tournament that offers so much in the way of winnings. Adding to the appeal of the tournament is the fact that the field for fighters above 63.5 kg, 140 lb, in Thailand is quite limited, as attention usually focuses on fighters between 55 and 61.5 kg, 122 - 135 lb.
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Rankings will be seen as "living rankings" from now on. Follow them on the left bar of the screen. They will be updated whenever there is movement within them. Questions or comments are welcome.
April 2013 Rankings
|As of April 2013||As of April 2013||As of April 2013|
January 2011Add a comment
Crazier things have happened in the world of combat sports which is so delicately intertwined with organized crime and, well, crime in general (then again, what sports aren't?), but the odyssey of Badr Hari's criminal exploits which ruined his 2010 might be cleared up soon. Of course nothing is a lock yet, but there have been some reports of late that have given further detail into the case against Badr Hari and that his name might be unfairly attached as an attacker for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time and being a world-renowned K-1 fighter.
There is an article up about comments left on a crime blog about the situation, seemingly from key witnesses at the night club that night. One of the comments below indicates that Badr Hari was simply with the group that attacked the bouncer, but steered clear to not risk injury.
The real story: He came with a group, and everyone was allowed inside except for two guys who previously been difficult. The doorman (a giant, larger than Badr himself) calmly handled the situation. Badr seemed at peace with the situation, only to suddenly throw a punch at the doorman. Badr remained calm and did his best to avoid the situation, as he was in training (and mean fighting) for K1 and did not want to the risk injury. Badr was with the group and the doorman was indeed beaten. Police: Create a chat with the staff and the DJ of that night .... you know enough.
The translation was cleaned up by me a bit, if you see anything glaringly wrong, let me know, I'm not a native Dutch speaker, obviously. As the article goes on to mention, the few comments of bloggers is not positive proof, but there do seem to be a few key witnesses and some stones that were left un-turned. This comes hot off the heels of reports on Dutch forums that Badr Hari has been back in the gym with Mike Passenier and his training partners getting back into shape.
Thanks our good friend Simon Raedts for the tip.
UPDATE: Minor translation tweaks.Add a comment
Like Atlas, I believe Alistair Overeem is holding the weight of the world on his shoulders. At least, the combat sports world.
Though he isn't Greek and may not be a Titan (mythologically speaking), Alistair Overeem does have much significance for the three organizations he is currently champion of: Strikeforce, K-1, and DREAM. Here is why.
Strikeforce: On June 26th of 2010, the heavyweight landscape in MMA, changed forever. Fedor Emelianenko suffered his first legitimate loss. Pundits were amazed, bloggers were being pulled off the ledge and even Fabricio Werdum, the man who just dethroned The Last Russian Emperor, had to take a second and make sure it was all real. For Scott Coker, founder and CEO of Strikeforce, victory could not be more bittersweet. On one hand, a fighter just made history and it was during your event. On the other, he completely gutted the future of your marquis division. Everyone expected Fedor to win and go on to meet Overeem in his next fight. Alistair, fresh off a first-round drubbing of Brett Rogers, even made the flight to sit cage-side and challenge Fedor when he won. He should have saved the frequent flyer miles.
I believe this can work in the favor of Alistair and Strikeforce. The Reem is the most marketable heavyweight that Strikeforce has access to. He speaks great english, is endearing to the fans, has a herculean physique, and holds two other championship belts. You can put Alistair on ESPN for an interview without having an interpreter butcher the translation. Certainly not the case with Fedor, as we've all seen.
With Alistair leading the charge, I believe that Strikeforce can enjoy success with their heavyweights. They need to bring in quality opponents that can give credence to the division which validates their opportunity to face the champ. Also, Strikeforce must learn to market and publicize their star fighters like Alistair. All the talent and media acumen in the world is of no good if the fans never see it.
The possibility for a match with Fedor Emelianenko is there and though it may not carry the importance it once did, it would still be a blockbuster fight.
K-1: Raise your hand if you're a Semmy Schilt fan. Anyone? That's what I figured. The four-time K-1 World Grand Prix Champion is arguably the least-liked champion in the sports history. He's viewed as a boring fighter by many and generally not an amicable person. With Semmy holding strong as the champ and Badr Hari mired in legal trouble, it seemed as if Hightower would reign over the K-1 heavyweight ranks as long as he chose to much to the chagrin of fans that were growing tired of seeing Semmy as champion.
It's always darkest before the dawn, is how the saying goes and that proved to be true as Peter Aerts made history and became the first man to ever defeat Semmy in the K-1 World Grand Prix. That accomplishment, now among so many others by the legendary Aerts, opened the door for Alistair to eventually meet Peter in the finals. Overeem went on to defeat Mr. K-1 and become the most exciting WGP champion the sport has seen in its recent history. The timing could not have been better as Alistair is on top of the combat world and soon, the entertainment world in Japan. He recently signed with Yoshimoto Creative Agency to have them handle his affairs that lie outside of the fight game. With clients such as Kousuke Fukudome, YCA has the ability and resources to make Alistair a huge star in Japan. Combine that with the fact that Fuji TV, broadcast partner with FEG, is very happy with Alistair and you have a recipe for longterm success.
DREAM: While K-1's TV future seems to be in good hands, DREAM is another story entirely. It's been well documented that Dynamite!! 2010 didn't do so well on TBS.
There is hope, though, as Alistair Overeem is set to become the next Bob Sapp in the eyes of Japanese fans. Bob has always been a big draw in Japan as he's all over the media. What Alistair has that Bob certainly doesn't is the credentials to go along with his place in the Japanese media. He has all the talent, and now exposure, to help DREAM recapture the indigenous fans along with broadcast companies, and prove they're still a player that's relevant in the fight game.
That's a lot of responsibility for one man. But just as Atlas bore the weight of the heavens as his punishment, Alistair bears the weight of his own success. A weight that I'm sure he's proud to carry.Add a comment
I know what you are thinking, LiverKick.com has been up and running for a solid two weeks now, why now? Well, while LiverKick.com has been live for a few weeks now, it was with minimal fanfare and really, no solid explanation behind the move, concept and what to expect. Now that the MiddleEasy Network has launched, I feel like a weight has been removed from my chest, the gag order removed and the cat is out of the bag.
Our oral history and mission statement follow.Add a comment